CANADA STOCKS-TSX shoots higher, UTS soars on deal

Wed Jul 7, 2010 4:27pm EDT
 
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* TSX up 1.76 percent at 11,397.27

* All 10 main sectors end higher

* UTS soars after French oil major Total makes offer (Updates to close)

TORONTO, July 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index surged on Wednesday as a bounce in oil prices and an offer by Total SA TOTF.PA to buy UTS Energy Corp UTS.TO led the index higher for a second straight session.

UTS shares jumped 63 percent to C$3.44 after French oil major Total agreed to buy UTS for C$1.5 billion in cash, twice the amount it offered for the Canadian oil sands developer 18 months ago. [ID:nSGE66609U].

"The bid for UTS by Total is something that has given investors some more confidence that the future of the oil sands is more intact," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

As well, U.S. crude futures topped $74 a barrel after six straight sessions of declines, and helped send the energy group up 2.77 percent. Suncor Energy SU.TO, the country's biggest oil company, rose 4.1 percent to C$32.50 while Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO added 2.9 percent to C$35.82. [O/R]

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 197.10 points, or 1.76 percent, at 11,397.27.

All 10 main sectors advanced as the TSX added strongly to its gains in the second half of the session and closed less than one point below its intraday high.

($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)